I just knew this would be something special when I noticed the crew of the Nordic Seaplane flight to Aarhus, clad in shorts and flip-flops sat outside Løgimose capturing a rare ray of sunshine, enjoying dollops of ice-cream. My virgin seaplane flight from Copenhagen to Aarhus did not disappoint. As the 16 seater Havilland DHC6 Twin Otter taxied by The Little Mermaid, the large crowd of tourists gathered around Copenhagen’s most famous bronze statue joined in one synchronized selfie as we passed by. The 45 minute flight with a cruise altitude of 3000 meters, captured Denmark’s landscape and coastline in its full glory. I literally smiled all the way to Aarhus.
This was also my virgin trip to Aarhus, which after 35 years of living in Denmark is an endeavor that I’m not particularly proud off. Shortly after a smooth landing in Aarhus harbor, I find myself in Jægersgårdsgade, a street that has developed its own unique laid back style, giving shoppers and guests time to dwell and sample its many offerings. Jægergårdsgade has become a popular location for entrepreneurial spirits, such as Sårt, Smag Først and Mikkeller Bar Aarhus. The micro brewery, Mikkeller has since 2006 been developing innovative ales and beers in Copenhagen and now is represented in over 40 countries. As I sit in the only Mikkeller bar in Aarhus watching the bar gently fill up on a late Friday afternoon, sipping a glass of Angry Hops. I am anything but angry.
Like Copenhagen, Aarhus’s gastro reputation has flourished the last few years and quite rightly is beginning to reap international recognition with restaurants, Fredrikshøj Kro, Substans and Gastromé, being rewarded with Michelin stars in 2015. My gastro destination was the highly recommended, Langhoff & Juul, located in the Latin quarter, this gem has not only been attracting local and international attention for its high quality food, but for its uncompromising approach to supporting organic and self sufficient gastro solutions. Stepping into the restaurant, I was met by our host Rebekka, who charmingly explained that the empty seats had nothing to do with the quality of the kitchen, but a popular rock festival had basically emptied the city. The restaurant´s interior was a refreshing mix of nordic style and back to basics, a wonderful space that engages all types of guests.
My barista contacts in Copenhagen had directed me to two coffee roasters and bars in Aarhus in a class of their own. The highly popular La Cabra Coffee Roasters again located in the latin quarter and the hipster roasters, Great Coffee. Both brands exude a craftsmanship and passion for coffee brewing that is extremely rare. Tucked not far from La Cabra, is the wonderfully designed concept store, Arla Unika, focusing on artisan dairy products and cheeses. The Danish design studio, Bonnelycke responsible for the custom design have elegantly brought the Arla Unika’s dairy products into focus.
In 2017, Aarhus, fondly known as the city of smiles, has been appointed European Capital of Culture along with the Cyprian city of Paphos. With Aarhus boasting of the library and cultural center, DOKK1 and the magnetic museum, ARoS, visitors to Aarhus will definitely be leaving with a smile on their faces.
Photo credits: Phillip Mills
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